I am sensitive to those with food issues. Witness my irritation with the allergen free trick or treat that wasn't. Little Miss also has a dairy allergy, and we have plenty of friends with issues eating everything from strawberries to soy to corn to eggs and more, but gluten is by far the biggest issue. Fortunately, there are plenty of companies that provide all sorts of gluten free alternatives, and Udi's is one of our favorites.
Why is Udi's one of our favorites? In addition to having all sorts of yummy goodness that brings them up to the top of our list already, Udi's does a fantastic job of labeling their allergens. They clearly label the front of their products with gluten free, dairy free, soy free, etc. as applicable so that anyone with a food sensitivity can quickly see which items are and are not going to work.
Fun for me, Udi's sent me some product recently to create desserts that are gluten free. I know how left out Little Miss often feels, and some of our best friends have the same issues because of their allergy issues. I love that Udi's has great options for sweet treats from their brownie bites to muffin tops to snickerdoodles and more. They make great desserts on their own or crumbled up over yogurt or fruit or ice cream (or coconut milk ice cream in our case!). The challenge from Udi's, however, was to create a dessert using these items.
I had a few ideas that I thought would be a ton of fun, and Little Miss loved having these special treats just for her... even though Mister Man snuck some of the yumminess for himself because the treats are overall good, not just "gluten free" good. Creating a version of "haystacks" with granola, chocolate, coconut flakes and flax seeds was fun and tasty. I also made a version of bread pudding - Mister Man's favorite dessert since he discovered it a year ago - using the Udi's cinnamon raisin bread. That brought a huge smile to her face.
In the end, I chose to use the gluten free vanilla granola for this challenge to make a special dessert just for Little Miss and I. I loved that this was something that was a small enough portion just for the two of us, although it could definitely be doubled to make pear and ginger crisp for more people. It was awesome.
I enjoy cooking from scratch, but I loved using the granola for this recipe because it already has most of the ingredients that I would use to make a crisp, but I know they're gluten free. And more importantly, the granola has certified gluten free oats, wildflower honey, canola oil, almonds, and vanilla extract - and nothing else - which makes me happy to use it. The granola has a great crunch to it that makes an idea topping for a crisp.
Gluten Free Pear Ginger Crisp
2 ripe pears, but just barely ripe
1 t ginger
2 t corn starch
1/4 c plus 2 t brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 t lemon juice
1/2 c Udi's gluten free vanilla granola
1/2 t nutmeg
2 T mayonnaise
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Wash the pears well. You want them to be just ripe, as they'll get mushy after cooking if they're too ripe. Don't peel them, just cut them into bite size pieces, removing the seeds as you normally would.
Place them into a small bowl, and 2 t brown sugar, the lemon juice, the freshly grated ginger, and the corn starch (or arrowroot if you have an issue with corn). Mix this until the pears are evenly coats, then place them into two large ramekins.
In the same small bowl (because I'm all about reusing where I can and having fewer dishes, if possible) that is now empty, add the granola, the freshly grated nutmeg, the rest of the brown sugar, the salt, and the mayonnaise. A word on mayonnaise for those of you wrinkling your noses. It is a surprisingly good choice that is GFCF alternative for a fat that adds a really nice tang without overpowering the dish. Just trust me on this one. Mix the topping until it is thoroughly combined and slightly crumbly.
Carefully place half the topping over each pear-filled ramekin. Gently press the topping down, then place them in the oven. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until the topping is nicely browned and the pears are soft.
So what dessert would you make with Udi's gluten free options?
In the interest of full disclosure, I was provided with free Udi's product to create desserts that are gluten free for Halloween and fall. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.